by ERIC FEIVESON
Over the years, the Seattle Transit Blog has done several posts on hiking Puget Sound by bus. Some of the amazing hiking trips posted on the blog include Point Roberts, Wallace Falls, Shaw Island and Friday Harbor, and the Olympic mountains. There have even been several links posted offering suggestions for transit hikes across the greater Seattle area.
As I read through the amazing list of Seattle transit hikes, one of the problems that always bugged me was how to actually go out and do them. After all, for people that aren’t used to riding transit, or aren’t used to riding transit except to work and back, taking a bus to a remote trailhead you have never been to before without a car can seem downright scary. I can still recall my first bus trip to Tiger Mountain and how, halfway through the hike, I suddenly felt cut off from civilization because I didn’t have a car parked at the trailhead, even though the bus ran every half hour and I had hours to get back before the last one.
Thinking about this, I decided that the best way to get new users to overcome the inevitable anxiety of bus hiking for the first time is to do so in the context of a group. Since all the Seattle hiking groups I know about drive or carpool to trailheads, I decided to create my own meetup group that would focus on transit-accessible hikes which would allow the group to ride the bus together to and from trailheads. The group is called the Seattle Transit Hikers and our first meetup is scheduled for January 6, when we will hike from the UW campus to downtown Seattle.
I plan to lead a hike with this group every 2-3 weeks, during which, we will explore the numerous transit-accessible trails in the region. Some of the destinations I have in mind for the coming months include Discovery Park, Carkeek Park, St. Edwards State Park, Couger, Squak, and Tiger Mountain, as well as numerous trails through the city of Bellevue. If there is interest, I may also consider some more ambitious trips, such as Mt. Si, Anacortes, perhaps even an overnight camping trip on Whidbey Island.
I am also looking for volunteers to lead hikes so I don’t have to lead them all. If any of you are interested, please let me know. The group already more than I ever expected – 62 members signed up in just 3 days! I think it’s going to be a great success.